ST. HYACINTHE, QUEBEC – Olymel LLC recently announced the opening of its new central microbiology laboratory.

The meat producer said its existing plant in Ange-Gardien, Montérégie, will house the new activities. Olymel said this facility was automated with PCR technology-upgraded equipment and licensed by the Public Health Agency of Canada. 

Five professionals will work permanently at the central microbiology laboratory under the supervision of Delphine Sene, director of food safety at Olymel. This new laboratory will focus on detecting primary pathogens like Listeria and Salmonella and confirming product shelf life (expiry date). 

“By bringing previously outsourced analyses and tests in-house, Olymel can develop its own expertise, shorten turnaround times, and significantly reduce costs related to laboratory analyses across the company,” said Sylvain Fournaise, vice president of food safety and technical services, research and development at Olymel. “Now that this sector is in-house, the laboratory will have the capacity to perform over 100,000 tests per year. This will give our company more autonomy to validate processes within the framework of the Safe Quality Food (SQF) certification obtained by all our plants, and our quality assurance management will be even more effective.”

The company said that even with the addition of the laboratory, it will still entrust analysis and tests required by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, or Olymel clients, to independent laboratories. 

Olymel employs more than 14,000 people and has production and processing facilities in Quebec, Ontario, Alberta, Saskatchewan and New Brunswick.